[LINK] Consumer Electronics Show - wireless DVD player that c
onnects to Internet direct
Richard.Chirgwin at informa.com.au
Tue Jan 13 14:03:43 EST 2004
> it's not the PC that us going to be supplanted by the TV, it
> is the TV that
> will be subsumed by the PC. same for the VCR. that's what
> means in the context of computers
That's what convergence has meant ever since I first heard the word in about
1990. Hasn't happened yet - not because "it wouldn't work"; but because the
vision is opposed to how people behave. Why would Joe Sixpack "converge" the
TV and PC when he's got three TVs and wants to check his e-mail while the
wife's watching the cricket?
To converge you have to re-engineer the whole home (ie, "uber"
storage/tuner/router/too hard to use, upgrade, patch and protect device in
the middle surrounded by lots of playback points.)
And there's the single point of failure issue, I suppose ... crash the OS,
all screens go dark. That goes not just for "convergence" but the entire
"smart home" vision, I suppose.
Home owner: "Then the screens went blue, the lights went out, the phone
stopped working and the alarms wouldn't shut off."
Smart House Tech Support: "That's not supposed to happen..."
> dunno what it will mean to Microsoft, but i suspect that the
> market for these
> devices will end up being dominated by one or more of the
> embedded linux
> variants - the average end-user may not be able to hack them
> to do interesting
> things, but there will be a thriving free-software community
> swapping tweaks
> and patches to make the devices do things that the
> manufacturers never thought
> of (or didn't want to get sued by the movie/music industry
> over), and the
> end-users will be able to use those hacks even if they aren't
> capable of
> writing them.
> Apple will, IMO, survive longer in this market than Microsoft
> because they're
> already experienced in it and they do have a (mostly
> deserved) reputation for
> quality and ease-of-use as well as ease-of-learning.
> > but it's a big source of expensive irritation that requires
> much maintenance,
> > a heap of upgrading and lots of TLC to run properly ...
> yes. that will always be the case. however, people will
> continue to get
> suckered by marketing people telling them that the next
> version is easier (or
> has better features), so they will continue to buy things
> that they aren't
> capable of using fully.
> but that's true of "ancient" technology like VCRs, too. many
> people aren't
> capable of even setting the clock on them, let alone setting
> it up to record a
> show at a particular time, even with ease-of-use features
> like programming
> codes in TV guides. they have a VCR solely to play tapes
> rented from the video
> shop, or bought or borrowed/copied from friends. and you
> know what? they get
> enough value out of this basic usage that it makes the
> purchase worth-while for
> that's actually a key point - as long as the average consumer
> gets sufficient
> value out of the device, they aren't going to care that they
> aren't capable of
> using the device to its full potential. oddly enough,
> they're happy to know
> that the machine they spent so much money on *could* do all
> sorts of amazing
> things and will as soon as they get around to learning how,
> even though they
> know in the back of their minds that they never will.
> > anything that makes it unnecessary in favour of a hard
> wired push button
> > consumer box will be something he greets with delight.
> wishing for this is like wishing for weight-lifter's muscles
> without having to
> do any exercise.
> it is never going to happen. flexible, multi-purpose
> programmable devices
> (i.e. computers) are inherently complex - even when made as
> simple as possible
> to use, they are still going to be orders of magnitude more
> complicated than a
> TV or a toaster.
> btw, oddly enough if you did want a simple "hard wired push
> button consumer
> box" you are much more likely to get it from a linux/unix
> base than a MS
> Windows base. unix systems are not tied to one GUI anywhere
> near as much as MS
> Windows is - programmers can easily create different
> interfaces, there aren't
> anywhere near as many in-built assumptions about the input &
> output devices.
>  actually, one day it may be possible to get the muscles
> without the
> exercise - it's not inconceivable that targetted chemical
> triggers for muscle
> development may one day be found. in fact, it's probably
> inevitable. but a
> one-button PC is a fantasy.
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